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Ellie Greenwich
Overview | Albums | Biography
b. 23 October 1940, Brooklyn, New York, USA. Greenwich's singing career began in 1958 with "Cha-Cha-Charming", released under the name Ellie Gaye. Two years later she met budding songwriter Jeff Barry and, following a release as Ellie Gee And The Jets, the couple formed the Raindrops in 1963. The group enjoyed a US Top 20 hit with "The Kind Of Boy You Can't Forget", but increased demand on the now-married duo's compositional skills led to the band's demise. Having abandoned respective partnerships with Toni Powers and Art Resnick, Greenwich and Barry enjoyed a sustained period of success with a series of notable compositions, including "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" (the Exciters / Manfred Mann ), "I Wanna Love Him So Bad" (the Jelly Beans ) and "Hanky Panky" ( Tommy James And The Shondells ). Collaborations with Phil Spector generated hits for the Crystals ("Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me"), the Ronettes ("Be My Baby" and "Baby, I Love You") and Ike And Tina Turner ("River Deep - Mountain High") while work with Shadow Morton reaped commercial success for the Shangri-Las, notably "Leader Of The Pack". Ellie also rekindled her solo career with "You Don't Know", but her divorce from Barry in 1965 put an intolerable strain on their working relationship. Together they produced Neil Diamond's early recordings, but in 1967 she severed their partnership and made an exclusive songwriting deal with Unart Music. Ellie Greenwich Composes, Produces, Sings combined original songs with current favourites, but was a commercial failure, while her subsequent Pineywood Productions company was similarly ill-starred in the wake of changing musical tastes. "I couldn't understand what (acid rock) was all about", she later stated, and instead switched to writing jingles. She re-emerged during the singer/songwriter boom with Let It Be Written, Let It Be Sung, but this excellent album failed to rekindle her career when stage fright blighted an attendant tour. Ellie remained in seclusion for most of the ensuing decade but re-emerged in the 80s as a performer in the acclaimed biographical revue Leader Of The Pack. A new generation of acts, including Nona Hendryx, Cyndi Lauper and Ellen Foley, have recorded her songs, insuring Greenwich's position as one of pop's finest composers.


Ellie Greenwich Composes, Produces And Sings (United Artists 1968)***, Let It Be Written, Let It Be Sung (Verve 1973)***.


I Can Hear Music: The Ellie Greenwich Collection (Razor & Tie 1999)***.

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